Female prison employee reportedly confessed to smuggling in power tools to help 2 convicts escape

Screen Shot 2015 06 11 at 10.02.25 AMScreengrabJoyce Mitchell

A 51-year-old prison employee who’s suspected of having a relationship with an inmate reportedly confessed to smuggling power tools into the maximum-security facility to help two convicts escape.

Joyce Mitchell was allegedly supposed to be the duo’s getaway driver after they broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York, but she apparently backed out at the last minute and checked herself into a hospital for “nerves.”

The Times Union in Albany reports that Mitchell confessed her role in the scheme to state police. She reportedly told authorities that she smuggled power tools into the prison and gave the inmates access to a mobile phone. The inmates then allegedly used the power tools to cut holes through a steel wall in their cells and pipes in the bowels of the prison to escape.

Authorities are still searching for the two convicts, 48-year-old Richard Matt and 34-year-old David Sweat. They were both serving time for murder.

Prison breakDarren McGee/New York State Governor’s Office, via APThis photo provided by New York State Governor’s office shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo on a catwalk looking into the cell that inmates escaped from at a maximum-security prison near the Canadian border in Dannemora.

Mitchell worked as an industrial-training supervisor in the tailor shop of the prison and is thought to have developed a relationship with Matt. He reportedly spent months wooing her in order to get her to participate in his escape plot.

State corrections officials investigated Michell’s relationship with Matt after a coworker filed a complaint, but they reportedly did not find enough evidence to take action against Mitchell.

Matt was likely able to interact with Mitchell because he was being held on the “honour block” of the prison for good behaviour and was allowed to spend most of his time outside of his cell.

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